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Oct 19, 2020

Early Childhood Trauma Affects Metabolism in the Next Generation

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, genetics

Article. The research/article indicates that childhood trauma can not only impact the current generation, but future generations. Biochemical signals are sent to the germ cells, modifying the expression of some genes and/or the DNA structure.


Traumatic experiences can have a lasting impact, so children that suffer through them can feel their effects for a lifetime. Work has also shown that trauma can change the way genes are expressed, through epigenetics. Epigenetic changes do not alter the sequence of genes but they alter the biochemistry of DNA, and these changes are sometimes passed down to future generations through germ cells. Scientists have been working to learn more about how traumatic events get embedded in the genetic code of germ cells.

Image credit: Pkist

New research reported in The EMBO Journal has used a mouse model to suggest that childhood trauma can influence the composition of blood, and this is the conduit for passing the impact down to offspring.

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